Paper Circle’s founder, Sara Gilfert, throws her head back and laughs, “I don’t know how else to describe it. I became absolutely infected with a love of papermaking.” In 2000, wanting to share what she had and to give back to the community, she organized a teaching studio in her home with three very talented apprentices. In 2003, Paper Circle gained non-profit status and she and the others rented and renovated a storefront as part of the new arts community on the Nelsonville town square.
Barbara Campagnola was hired as Executive Director the next year. When she discovered that the Nelsonville children had no art in the school, she launched ‘Circle Round the Square,’ (Circle) a summer arts enrichment program for the underserved youth in the district. In 2008 she was awarded Distinguished Citizen for Art Education in Ohio, bestowed by the Ohio Art Education Association for her work with Circle.
In 2010, after two years of development, our niche paper, O-Gami, made for complex folds, was introduced at the Origami USA convention. In May 2012 we hosted our first Juried show, “In, ON or OF Paper,” juried by Eileen Wallace. 2014 was a busy year for us. In the spring Circle was named a Finalist for National Arts and Humanities Youth Arts Program Award and we launched our screen print shop. In December Campagnola was awarded the Rotarian Citizen of the Year.
Today Paper Circle is a well-respected leader in the community. We occupy a sunny 40′ x 20′ space with a professional gallery at the front and a fully equipped papermaking studio at the back and in the basement. We host 6-12 shows per year, & hire paper artists to facilitate workshops for all ages. Our product, O-Gami, available in our online shop, and screen-printing has enabled us to add two part-time artists & one Circle intern to our paid staff.
We support our artists by providing living wages, professional development, product support, live print events, and teaching and monthly exhibiting opportunities as part of Nelsonville’s Final Fridays Art Walk community.
We are particularly committed to enhancing the creative economy of the region through the creation and development of print and paper products, which support our good work in the community. Our signature O-Gami paper is archival, strong, water-resistant, comes in thirty colors and two surface types; perfect for fine artists or hobbyists. Our printed clothing is artist-designed and made.